My father told me recently that he thinks I need religion, which was pretty interesting coming from a man who hasn’t graced the inside of a house of worship in at least thirty years.
I don’t agree. I’m not much for religion. I identify as agnostic; which basically means that while I do believe something divine or meaningful is probably out there, I’m certainly not going to pretend that I know what it is, or that my particular beliefs trump anyone else’s.
You want to practice Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Wicca, or Reiki? Have at it! If it brings you comfort or joy or better yet, makes you a kinder and more tolerant person, rock on with your bad self. It seems to me, however, that the majority of religious people are at least somewhat close-minded when it comes to their fellow men and women. That’s just what I’ve noticed as an observer.
Notice I said “some” and not “all”. My friend Jessie is kind, generous with her time, and accepting. She is also a proud Methodist. All those things are not mutually exclusive. I don’t judge based upon Jesus.
Still, I do wonder how people have such strong faith when there are so many strong faiths to choose from. The Zen Buddhists believe they’re on the path to enlightenment. The Christians believe in heaven. Somewhere deep in the heart of Africa, a child prays to a carved stone god. Who’s to say who’s correct, if anyone?
When I pray – and I do pray – I talk to the moon at night. Although I am agnostic and don’t really believe that the moon holds any particular power, it comforts me to temporarily believe that for a moment, something is hearing my words or thoughts. It’s very soul-soothing.
Maybe that’s all religion is, after all. A Band-Aid for the soul. Who doesn’t need that?